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September 12th 2014, 03:22 PM
custom_coco.gif
CocoMonkey
Bard Male United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
I turn 29 today (the 12th). Wheeee~

170: Kill the Hippies... Again Author: Joshriot Release Date: September 6, 2003
"the damn hippies took my house."

Joshriot is back with more hippie-killing action. This time, the hippies have gone too far: they've stolen Dink's uncle's house!


Those hippies are TALENTED. They could make a service out of their house-stealing skills.

The hippies in this DMOD are quite a nasty foe. They constantly will chuck fireballs at you, which can kill you in a hurry before you get any powerups. There are three powerups in this DMOD: a disco ball, which is a megapotion, a "no" sign, which gives you a big max health boost, and a smiley face, which restores your health.


Some hippies they are, burning down trees like that.

At first, I couldn't figure out what to do. Look around the small map all you like - you won't find any house. Killing the hippies doesn't seem to accomplish anything either, as they come right back when you return to the screen. Well, it turns out that if you kill (or witness the death of, since they'll kill each other as well) at least 12 hippies and talk to Uncle Ernie again, he'll remember that the hippies didn't steal his house - he traded it for a Pokémon card. Then, Dink says he wants to kill more hippies, and the opening dialogue plays again.

This one would work a little better if the hippies didn't come back when killed, but at any rate, "Kill the Hippies" didn't need a sequel.

171: Bishop's Quest Part 1: Enter the Hero Author: Matthew (Hance) Release Date: September 25, 2003
"Boga Boga, LA Ma Ca!"

Hance may be the oldest DMOD author. His profile says that he's 62, although I don't know when it was written.

This is a really unusual DMOD, but that doesn't stop it from being dull, just desperately dull. Even having to write about it is a chore. Ugh.

There's very little for you to actually do in "Bishop's Quest." There's no room to explore, just a perpetual hallway of closely blocked-in screens. For the most part, you just advance from one cutscene to the next. The cutscenes rarely contain much action - they're just lots of talking. I do think you could make an interesting DMOD that fits that description, but this ain't it.


Practically all the screens are ringed by these stone-block borders. I think this is more an element of presentation than something that's meant to be literally present at the scene.

Dink has to help a pious bunch of folks overthrow an oppressive Kingdom of some kind. Dink is quite eager to help and seems to share their faith in God. That doesn't offend me or anything, but the story is almost absurdly boring. There's way too many names to keep track of. My brains turned to mush and I soon began to fail to follow it. There are a lot of words being spoken, but not a lot happens. I've read Proust and it was more exciting than this. It doesn't help that the spelling is bad - for example, 'pilgrim' is consistently misspelled as 'pilgram' - and the way the English language is used is just odd. God is consistently referred to as "the God," for instance. "I wish to please the God," says Dink. None of this helped me get into the game or understand its story.


Um... sure.

I might have been able to put up with the situation if things worked properly. "Bishop's Quest" just doesn't function in the way you expect a DMOD to function. "Buggy" doesn't cover it, because that implies that something is working properly in the first place and then stops doing so. There are other DMODs of which this is true - "Ghosts of the Cast" comes to mind - but they're generally low-effort, short and pointless little trifles. This DMOD obviously has had a lot of effort put into it, and seeing such disregard for the way a game is supposed to work in something the author DID put thought into is a new and troubling experience. I felt uncomfortable playing this DMOD.

For the story to work at all, the game depends upon you following its set path exactly. If you turn around and go backwards, you will see previous cutscenes again, and sometimes get stuck as a result. There's one place in the game where you're instructed to take the paths at a crossroads in the order they're numbered, 1 through 3. Nothing actually forces you to do this. If you'd like a shorter path to the ending, you can take the number 3 path first and the game will proceed just as if you'd gone through the paths correctly. The story is so muddled that I doubt you'll notice anyway.


Have fun trying to make sense of this map.

It's like you're expected to pretend there's a game here. I'm reminded of those "game books" that include combat, and you're expected to roll some dice and proceed to the appropriate page if you lose as if anything were preventing you from just assuming you won. Those work much better than this, though. At least they have rules and state them to you clearly.

The worst part - imagine me grabbing you by the shoulders firmly and really hammering this point home - the WORST part is that Dink is often not frozen for the cutscenes. This means that you can't press space to skip through the dialogue, so the scenes are interminable even with FreeDink's speedup feature. What's worse, if you slip up and press the talk button anyway, you'll get stuck in many cases and have to load your previous save (by the way, even savebots, which are represented by a lion's head, annoy you with a bit of conversation before allowing you to save). I finally gave up after this happened to me for the fourth time in a row during a long sequence of cutscenes that I think might have been the ending.

One nice thing I could say is that effort has been put into making the screens look interesting. Some of them look quite nice, actually, distracting border aside. Some buildings seem to have an open patio leading inside, which is creative and looks good. There are quite a few new graphics here, but they look quite poor and don't fit in with the Dink graphics at all. There's an enemy from one of Simon Klaebe's DMODs, but it isn't implemented properly. It's just one frame that slides around and disappears when it's supposed to attack.

Right now, I am thanking the God that I don't ever have to play this DMOD again.

172: The Quest for Food Author: Glenn Ergo Release Date: September 30, 2003
"Indeed, my life quite sucks these days."

You know, in a way it's kind of impressive that Glenn kept cranking them out like this. This is his sixth DMOD in 2003, tying Mike Snyder's record for most DMODs in a calendar year from 1998! Dan Walma had five in 1999, and JVeenhof had five in 2000. All of those guys had better output than Glenn, of course, but the point is that few have had the motivation to put out DMODs at such a rate. I guess I had five in 1998 too if you count the content-free "All Out Brawl," but you really, really shouldn't.

"The Quest for Food" is very short and simple even compared to some of Glenn's other DMODs, but at least almost everything works properly. This is likely because Glenn updated the DMOD in 2006. He also took the opportunity to update the text, which, while by no means perfect, is a good bit more comprehensible than some of Glenn's earlier mods. The only error I ran into was a pillbug that was stuck inside its own hardness.

So: Dink has had his food stolen by an evil wizard, so he is on a quest to go beat up the thief and retrieve his groceries. At first, Dink is stuck in a small area that manages to be annoyingly empty despite its size.


Dink's way is blocked by an impressive obstacle.

Although Dink can't move the roadblock, all he has to do is talk to a woman named Jessica and she does away with it. How she does this when Dink clearly could not is not explained.

Most of the game is taken up by a short trip through a cave in which Dink must fight some fairly tough pillbugs and boncas. After that, you can easily beat up the wizard and the DMOD is over.


Victory!

This one was inoffensive, I guess. It reminded me of some of the very early DMODs.

Next: The Green Voice in My Head.